The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homesteading Qualities, Part 3

Sitting on a pile or riprap.Now that we've gotten the obvious out of the way, let's move on to the more ephemeral traits which most successful homesteaders share.  Frugality is right there at the top of my list.  If you're independently wealthy, you can probably live your homesteading dream while also living up to the American ideal of consumption, but most of us will have to scrimp a bit.

I saved for years before coming up with the cash necessary to buy our farm, and since we've moved here we've realized that the farm is still a huge drain on our finances.  Every season, we have new infrastructure we want to install --- first the trailer, then a rototiller, an irrigation system, a mulching lawnmower, and so forth.  Rather than blowing our income on luxury items (eating out, installing tile floors, etc.), we opt to keep our expenses down and save up for the things that really matter.

Many folks believe they need a nest egg to move back to the land, and while that wouldn't hurt, I don't think it's really necessary.  What you need is an ability to distinguish between your wants and needs, to make a budget, to live debt-free, and to save, save, save!

This post is part of our Homesteading Qualities lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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